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How To Avoid Aggravating Your Back Or Neck During The World Cup!

With the extravaganza of the World Cup upon us many of us are spending hours glued to our phones, TVs or ipads.  I’m sure you are aware/have felt, that staying in the one position for long periods can often exacerbate your neck or back pain. As much as we love watching our Aussies and world-class football, we also need to be smart about our posture!

Easy posture changes/switches:

At home sitting on the soft couch, instead try:

  • Sitting on a firm backed chair such as a dining table chair or office chair. You may also like to use a lumbar roll or small cushion to support your lower back.
  • If sitting for long periods on any chair aggravates your back, you could try lying on your stomach propped up on your elbows or intermittent standing.

Standing in a pub/bar/friends house, try:

  • Maintain good posture with even weight between your left and right feet.
  • If you find yourself standing in a position when you are not square to the TV or if you are constantly turning your head to one side to talk to your friends. Change sides or positions mid-way through the game to ensure a varied posture.

Sitting on a stool:

  • As with sitting on a couch, try to sit on a chair with back support if possible. Otherwise, try to find a position when you have both feet resting on the ground or on the footrest of the stool and maintain a straight back.

Watching in bed with a pillow under your head:

  • Lying in bed is probably the worst of the above positions to watch the football so trying some of the above positions.
  • If you insist on staying in your warm bed, try to maintain a straight lower back by propping yourself upright with a number of pillows. Make sure your neck and lower back are supported. Also try to change from this position at least 1-2 times during the game.

Watching on phone/ipads/laptops while commuting to/from work:

  • Try to have your device at eye level if possible, not on your lap, to avoid excessive neck flexion.
  • Maintain good lower back posture by sitting in an upright position, ideally with a support such as a cushion, jumper of lumbar roll.
  • Change neck position and look up from the screen every 5-10 minutes.

In addition to the above posture changes you should also incorporate some basic exercises if you have a history of neck or back pain.

Simple exercises

o   Chin retractions – sitting upright and gently pull your chin backward creating a double chin, try to keep your chin level. Repeat 5-10 times.

o   Lateral flexion neck stretches – gently stretch your neck to the side, ear to shoulder. Hold 30 seconds on each side.

o   Lower back extensions – in standing lean backwards to extend your lower back or if lying on your stomach have your hands at shoulder height and push-up keeping your hips on the ground. Repeat 10 times.

o   Pelvic tilits – rock your hips back and forth.

o   Sitting thoracic rotations – keeping your hips still rotate your upper body left then right 10 times.

o   Any other specific exercises given by your Physio.

Try to do a few of the above exercises every time there is a goal, yellow card, penalty kick or at half time

If you are watching an Australia game stand up and celebrate when Australia scores or if Matt Ryan saves a goal!

If you are experiencing any neck or back pain from poor sitting posture or if you attempted a Cristiano Ronaldo bicycle kick that went wrong, pop in for a consultation at Bend + Mend or send us an email. Happy World Cup watching and GO THE SOCCEROOS!

Bend + Mend

Bend + Mend has been providing Sydney’s CBD with Physiotherapy and Pilates services since 2003. We have 4 great locations in Martin Place, Barangaroo, Darling Park and Circular Quay, all with private rooms and specialised one-on-one care. We also have Sydney CBD’s best-loved Physios who have helped over 10,000 people recover from pain and injury.

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